Have you ever looked in the mirror and wished your teeth were a little whiter? Maybe you have always had a gap in your teeth or something just was not right that you wanted to fix.Cosmetic dentistry offers a number of oral care procedures to improve the position, shape, size and color of your teeth. These procedures…
Can a Dental Filling Be Used to Treat a Chip or Crack?
You likely know that a dental filling is the most common method for repairing cavities. This treatment can have other purposes too. A filling commonly relieves pain and discomfort as it seals a tooth and prevents further decay. There are also cosmetic benefits to getting one. The process is similar for repairing chips and cracks as it is for treating a cavity. There are differences, however, and it is helpful to understand what will take place.
Common reasons why teeth suffer cosmetic damage
Tooth decay is a significant concern for patients and dentists. There are other issues that affect a person’s oral health and smile. Some of these are mostly cosmetic, especially when there is damage to a tooth. Chips and cracks — even small ones — can be embarrassing. These issues can occur because of a person’s inattention to good oral hygiene. Not brushing enough or brushing incorrectly can weaken a tooth and make it susceptible to cracking or chipping.
Accidents and injuries can cause these issues too. Biting into a hard object such as a utensil or certain foods can damage a tooth. Some people may chip or crack a tooth by using it as a tool to open a package. A hard blow to the face from a fall or an object can also hurt a tooth.
When a dental filling can be an effective solution
If the chip or crack is small, the dentist can restore the tooth by using filling material. Most people choose a composite resin material because it blends in well with the tooth. The dentist can make it the same color as the affected tooth and surrounding teeth. The filling material builds up the tooth, restoring its proper size and shape. Fillings could be the right choice when the patient wants to keep as much of the natural tooth as possible.
As with a dental filling for a cavity, this treatment usually requires that the dentist numbs the affected area. This helps the patient to be free of pain during the procedure. It can also calm the person and make them feel more comfortable. Once the numbness has taken effect, the dentist will apply the material to the tooth. Using light, the dentist cures the filling so that it hardens quickly. The dentist will then use a tool to smooth any rough edges.
When other treatments make more sense
Using a dental filling may not always be the right approach to repairing a chip or crack. If these cosmetic blemishes are large, the dentist may recommend a crown or a veneer. These treatments can prevent further issues from occurring. Plus, they are stronger and more durable than fillings.
A less invasive way to restore your teeth
A cracked or chipped tooth may cause you to hide your smile. Fortunately, treatment is available to repair even the most challenging problems. A crown or veneer is not always the right way to handle a damaged tooth. Talk to your dentist today about whether a dental filling is a good option. This procedure is not as intense as other alternatives.
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